Canada polls: “Events should oppose voting-based division insurance policies” | World information
Large Indo-Canadian groups are becoming increasingly active with the upcoming 2021 federal election to put their interests on the agendas of major national political parties and their leaders.
The National Alliance of Indo-Canadians (NAIC), which comprises 30 organizations, has sent representatives from the leaders of the main political parties, including Justin Trudeau, leader of the ruling Liberal Party, and Erin O’Toole, leader of the opposition Conservative Party. The letters were also sent to the leaders of the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Greens and the Quebecois bloc.
The letter states that supporting the goals outlined “would receive the support of the incredible Indo-Canadian community”. This includes the representation of the “position of the politically marginalized Indo-Canadian community in parliament” and the “rejection of vote-based politics of division based on ethnicity, religion, race, gender, etc.”.
It also calls for “policies and programs that integrate and enhance understanding of Indo-Canadian heritage, including arts, music and culture, into mainstream Canadian society” and “better and improved relations between Canada and India”.
These letters are also distributed to individual candidates who seek votes from the community. This initiative, a first in Canadian elections by Indo-Canadians, aims to counter the growing influence of pro-Khalistan elements in the country as well as the divisions that exist between different groups within the community on issues such as the ongoing protests in India against three Agricultural laws.
Concerns about such friction also led a group of Indo-Canadians to protests outside the offices of NDP chief Jagmeet Singh in the city of Burnaby, British Columbia. Singh represents the riding (as constituencies are called in Canada) of Burnaby South in the House of Commons, and protests began in his official MP’s office before the crowd marched to his campaign headquarters. About 70 people attended the protest, including Sushil Nagar, a Burnaby resident who was actually part of Singh’s horse riding.
Nagar said their goal is to highlight the growing divide between the Hindu and Sikh communities in Canada over farm laws, and as the leader of a major federal party, they wanted Singh to raise the matter and make a statement before the upcoming elections , in the “friendship” within the larger community.
He said they had held similar events since February this year, but Singh continued to “ignore” their requests. “We feel like a significant minority in Canada and Burnaby. We want a message from him that Hindus and Sikhs should not be divided because of the farmers’ protests, ”said Nagar.
These developments are due to the fact that the World Sikh Organization (WSO) has also published an election guide for Canadian Sikhs. Among the issues it has raised is an accelerated process for the immigration of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to Canada. She also condemned the inclusion of Sikh extremism (Khalistani) in the 2018 report on the threat from terrorism in Canada as “misdirected” and called for the suspension of the framework for cooperation in combating terrorism and violent extremism between Canada and India.